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The Fallacy of Sprites
July 26, 2011 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Learning from Doom: Latvian artist Viktor Timofeev explores the "digital ruin" of the classic 1993 shooter DOOM, taking dozens of annotated snapshots along the way. It might be the only time you'll see 16th-century Mannerism, El Lissitzky, and Arachnotrons mentioned in the same place.
posted by theodolite (50 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, this is a) a fucking amazing and b) a little weird because I had a bunch of CS classes with this guy in high school.

Also, the texture of lost souls is one of the greatest things to be in a video game.
posted by griphus at 7:11 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is really great stuff.
posted by 6550 at 7:15 AM on July 26, 2011


I never noticed any intra-monster war in DOOM - that's awesome. It's also one of the many reasons why I love Bioshock: nothing as exiting as a bunch of slicers getting drilled into by a Big Daddy.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:19 AM on July 26, 2011


At first, I read this as a Latverian artist doing a piece about Doom AKA Dr Doom AKA Victor von Doom. Which is daring, because Doom will blast you with lasers.
posted by X-Himy at 7:25 AM on July 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


And just because it is awesome, here's the BFG FAQ (legible 1995 version).
posted by griphus at 7:28 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realise it's not particularly a discussion of the history of 3D graphics but it annoys me how almost everyone who writes anything about the subject always neglects to mention the fully 3D environments of the late 80's Commodore 64 games such as 'Driller', that used the Freescape engine, and also Ultima Underworld.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 7:31 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is lovely.

IMO, Doom was probably the most important piece of art of the 1990s in any medium.
posted by empath at 7:33 AM on July 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


You would think that all the species of monsters are programmed only to attack you but evidently intra-monster arguments are also common, though rare.
wat
posted by LogicalDash at 7:36 AM on July 26, 2011


I didn't think the intra monster fights were that rare. I used to try to get the imps to hit the marines all the time and make them fight.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on July 26, 2011


Doom 3 had this monster-on-monster behavior but it was disabled by default. It took me only a tiny change in the monster definitions to restore this but since D3 was so depopulated compared to 1 & 2 it hardly ever came to anything.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:48 AM on July 26, 2011


I learned to play Doom when it was new in my father's office, on a company computer. I was definitely too young to be there. Now, after years elsewhere, I work there.
Seeing this here is surreal and strange. I hate to admit it, but in a weird way, that game was formative for me. Kind of makes me wish I still played games at all.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:53 AM on July 26, 2011


I guess the new "2.5D" would be something like Echochrome
posted by LogicalDash at 7:57 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, I was an expert on the Doom engine to an unusual extent, but I'm a little shocked at how little this guy understands of it, and how little of what he's saying here is actually correct.

I'm also surprised (not for the first time) how fascinated some players are with the most mundane things. It's like ooh-ing and ahhing over how one of the nails holding together a cabinet has a burr on it from the manufacturing process, while some of the other nails don't. The carpenter doesn't care, because it's a nail.

People will spend hours trying to break through the walls and discover the nothingness on the other side, as if it's magic, but from the designer perspective, when you've spent months trying to get the damn game to stop doing that all the time whether you want it to or not, it's as magical as a sewer :)
posted by anonymisc at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


But yeah, it brings back some good memories :)
posted by anonymisc at 8:24 AM on July 26, 2011


People will spend hours trying to break through the walls and discover the nothingness on the other side, as if it's magic, but from the designer perspective, when you've spent months trying to get the damn game to stop doing that all the time whether you want it to or not, it's as magical as a sewer :)

Some people love looking backstage. Any time you peel back a carefully constructed veil of reality to see the lies and trickery beneath, it's fascinating to most people.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on July 26, 2011


Some people love looking backstage. Any time you peel back a carefully constructed veil of reality to see the lies and trickery beneath, it's fascinating to most people.

On reflection, it occurs to me that I would probably jump at the chance to explore some sewers in real life. I guess you're right, and my analogy was more analogous than I realised :)
posted by anonymisc at 8:38 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


empath: "I didn't think the intra monster fights were that rare. I used to try to get the imps to hit the marines all the time and make them fight."

Yeah, that was definitely a positive strategy-getting the really big guys to take each other down. The Barons of Hell vs. Cyberdemon scenario was a good example.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:50 AM on July 26, 2011


I also heard of people making "pacifist" runs through the game whereby they wouldn't kill any monsters, except where they had to for levels to advance. Or "brawler" runs where they'd only use fists, no weapons allowed. The intra monster fights pretty much became their bread and butter. Pretty hard to imagine.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:56 AM on July 26, 2011


Dude is using a non-authentic engine to revisit the game and then commenting on how the non-authentic engine renders it. That's a lot of screenshots showing me how the game looks different. This is kind of like a scholarly article discussing running the text of King's Carrie into Italian, French, German and then back into English that goes on and on about how the words have changed. Yeeeessss, aaannnd?
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:05 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


But maybe it is exactly the relatively primitive nature of Doom that makes it more appealing to exist in.

I would say this is exactly right.

This guy should try some Build engine games too. A well built Build engine level (gets interesting around a minute in) is one of my favorite virtual worlds to be in.
posted by codacorolla at 9:13 AM on July 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, in terms of WADs, if classic doom is an abstract modernist painting, then Mock 2: The Speed of Stupid is a Dada installation piece:

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

And more...
posted by codacorolla at 9:19 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was a fun article to read. I spent quite a few hours playing head-to-head games of Doom2 with a buddy and our network cable strung across the hallway between our dorm rooms.

It's too bad the writer didn't comment on the Romero's Head texture, which was an Easter egg.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2011


I love this article. I can't tell you how many summer hours i spent taking DOOM apart and reconstructing it, pixel by pixel, sound by sound...

The guy gets some stuff wrong (most of those textures look fine in the original game engine, and the odd texture stitching? Yeah we all noticed it, we were too busy killing demons and being 14 to care) but I do appreciate his drawing attention to the innovation and detail in the textures. In the age of Adobe CS5, making art at 320x200 and 256 colors is akin to building a ship in a bottle, shading by adding a few pixels at a time, etc.

I remember unpacking the main DOOM.WAD file, looking through all the images one by one in VuePrint, finding a paint program that would make the right shade of sky blue that DOOM would recognize as its transparency, figuring out what I could change...

I spent more time studying and editing the game than I did playing it, honestly. DOOM was a beautiful game.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2011


weren't texture stitching errors in the walls indications of secret doors?
posted by beefetish at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2011


Nice to hear from Timofeev again. I stumbled onto his victortimofeev.com site some time back and thought he could draw like a sumbitch. I wish he would update it with some of his stuff post 2009-2010.
posted by jfuller at 11:41 AM on July 26, 2011


Also I laughed uncontrollably over his blog link to the world's radest halfpipe.
posted by jfuller at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2011


hey
had to get on here to open this up for discussion.
first of all, im a little upset the humor didnt come through. i dont make a point of trying to pretend to understand the engine, i dropped out of programming a long time ago. you have to see this in the point of view of average gamer, someone who grew up with this generation and going back to it, just slowly hanging out in the same corridors you used to run down without looking behind.
thats why its both interesting and funny to concern yourself about the carpenters nail like anonymisc mentions. the regulating lines are about redundancy more than anything.

i didnt mention Ultima bc its about id. and yes i didnt mention Shadowcaster.

Also about the 2010-2011 work on my site.. its coming. next month. trust me, itll be worth it. if i could photograph all of my work myslef in my studio i would always be updating man, its not that simple.

lets keep talking.
posted by vtimofeev at 12:08 PM on July 26, 2011 [10 favorites]


also yeah Build was pretty sweet, but in my opinion didnt measure up to Doom. Maybe it was just a personal thing. I stopped hanging out in it after beating it but somehow Doom always brought me back. and now, like 16 years after first playing it, its still pretty awesome.
posted by vtimofeev at 12:39 PM on July 26, 2011


Hi Viktor, welcome to Metafilter! I think a lot of the complaints stem from the fact that it's so rare to see a video game approached purely as an aesthetic object, rather than from a level-design or programming standpoint. The old games work best for this partly because technological constraints forced the designers to come up with some extremely interesting solutions to basic problems. I wish there were far more artists (and architects, and writers, and scientists) playing games and talking about them.

In any case I thought the essay was pretty funny: "Stairs are generally banal objects, largely because so few are decorated with skull textures."
posted by theodolite at 12:44 PM on July 26, 2011


This brings back memories of weeks and weeks spent in front of the Purple Frog level editor hacking and creating new levels. It was both easier and harder than you would imagine with the restrictions of the engine. Sorta like building with Legos but you can only have one opening per wall, raising the floor and lowering the ceiling and building each Lego out of one-sided planes. Tweaking tripwires and sound propagation... Hours of mucking around followed by a reboot to DOS to give it a test play.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:01 PM on July 26, 2011


Hi Viktor!
Great article. I do have a question... you caption one photo with "1 3/4 “lights” cover the cieling of this nook."

Obviously that's not a misspelling, so what is a cieling? My guess is, pardon my boldness, that it is the layer of space we perceive as the top surface of an enclosure in a illusory structure--distinct from a ceiling by its very imperceptibility.

I presume there are analogous wllas, floros and conres, filled with the accidental spandrels of the mad digital evolution of a nullified creator's imagination. Or what?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:19 PM on July 26, 2011


Setting up intra-monster fights was my favorite part of the game.
posted by homunculus at 1:28 PM on July 26, 2011


yeha i love the floros.. thye are my favoritess
posted by vtimofeev at 1:29 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I totally get if this reads as an "aesthetic-outsider" point of view to mod communities and game designers but that is also kind of the point. And if that doesn't come across well, that's my fault I suppose. It doesn't attempt to mine a sub-culture for example, or make any statements about it.

I don't think that it approaches it entirely from a formal point of view, but maybe it's slightly out of left field. It's not a new thing to do, but I think its pretty interesting to go back to the spaces and see them again. Also I got a little tired of people mining Mario and things like that as some kind of cultural mecca.. I'm not saying that it wasn't. But I never had a Nintendo, and to be honest, I kind of desired one. Commander Keen was my Mario I guess.

re: the regulating lines... of course they line up.. everything is grid, duh..

Also there are many ways that mods can be created, if you start to think about what that word actually means, removed from level editors etc. The generation that was just old enough to absorb that world when it came out, but not old enough to 'not get it', is doing some great things now. That is also something to consider. And if we start to talk about computation, and computational architecture, and where its going.. i think it gets interesting. i mean do we develop with the engines or are we stagnant?
posted by vtimofeev at 1:41 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems pretty superficial. A thing references lissitzky because it's square, symmetrical and top heavy? Why not a table? Or a rubber stamp? Or a foot stool? It reminds you of Nam June Paik because there's televisions on the side, why not any electronics store you care to mention? The references don't go any deeper than comparing texture maps and volumes to art history touchstones for superficial similarities. Otherwise I'm missing something.

There is a gigantic Malevich black square on one of these rocky formations.

I mean no, this could be anything, maybe it's a low res Reinhardt/Rothko, hell maybe it's a cropped Mondrian and you have to find the rest of the painting in the rest of the level? Is there any reason why Malevich is more relevant over any other black square, art historical or otherwise?
posted by doobiedoo at 2:11 PM on July 26, 2011


I think there was something about Doom, hard to pin down, and quite separate from the exciting new 3D technology, that gave it an exceptionally evocative feel, never really equalled imo: perhaps it did come partly from not imitating real world models too closely.

I thought at the time it would have been interesting to hear what a Jungian analyst made of it.
posted by Segundus at 2:15 PM on July 26, 2011


I mean no, this could be anything, maybe it's a low res Reinhardt/Rothko, hell maybe it's a cropped Mondrian and you have to find the rest of the painting in the rest of the level?

I have a feeling that most of the contemporary art references are pretty firmly tongue-in-cheek (although this screenshot really does look like a post-apocalyptic Julius Shulman photo).
posted by theodolite at 2:24 PM on July 26, 2011


I also heard of people making "pacifist" runs through the game whereby they wouldn't kill any monsters, except where they had to for levels to advance. Or "brawler" runs where they'd only use fists, no weapons allowed. The intra monster fights pretty much became their bread and butter. Pretty hard to imagine.

In my old flat we played Doom hotseat, using 'rocketsaw' rules - Ultra Violence, IDKFA (which is a cheat code that maxes your weapons armour and health) and you could only use the rocket launcher and the chainsaw.

The turns were neither dull nor lengthy.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:55 PM on July 26, 2011


> do we develop with the engines or are we stagnant?

or are we like way behind? It's been 30-odd years since Leo Steinberg claimed that abstract expressionist pics exist in the same old pseudo-3space as realistic painting--you can't imagine walking into a de Kooning, maybe, but you can certainly imagine flying a spaceship into one. I want somebody to use a game engine to demo this. It would take a fuckton of work, not to mention the talent to imagine many, many convincing de Kooning blobs and squiggles as seen from angles the man himself never painted. And it's hard to imagine anybody making a dime off such a project. Still, I'm waiting. (fuller taps foot expectantly.)

Also can I please wander around freely in some of the Carceri? Second (darker) state, if I have a choice; and (all things considered) not without my BFG. There's so very much I'd like to inhabit, not just look at, and it seems the technology is there now. (The animation and rendering technology, anyway, though the planetarium-style display technology is probably still a ways off for home PCs.) While I'm daydreaming about the thing I'm driving at (specifically, will artists please start commandeering game engines for non-game projects), there's stuff like this, which you'll recognize. It would take patience to do the wireframes, but surely not more than it took to do it in ink on paper. I want the experience of inhabiting that for a while. Just me and my rocket belt and my BFG.


> Also about the 2010-2011 work on my site.. its coming. next month. trust me, itll be worth it.
> if i could photograph all of my work myslef in my studio i would always be updating man, its
> not that simple.

Thank you, Victor, I'm sure it will be worth the wait. I'll be lurking frequently until it's there.


> I think there was something about Doom, hard to pin down, and quite separate from the
> exciting new 3D technology, that gave it an exceptionally evocative feel, never really
> equalled imo: perhaps it did come partly from not imitating real world models too closely.

I felt a more intense sense of aloneness in the first Doom than anywhere else, ever.


> The turns were neither dull nor lengthy.

I loved it when all you had was a pistol, and you use up all your bullets, and then you get to hold your flat hand out in front of you like you're going to karate-chop the monster. Now those were short turns.
posted by jfuller at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2011



I think there was something about Doom, hard to pin down, and quite separate from the exciting new 3D technology, that gave it an exceptionally evocative feel, never really equalled imo: perhaps it did come partly from not imitating real world models too closely.


I never really played Doom, but I played Wolfenstein and stuff like Ken's Labyrinth and Blake Stone. There was a horrible feel that I'd literally get lost in the game, that one turn and I'd somehow never get out. It was the 'lonely game' taken to the extreme, all identical hallways and things trying to kill you.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:19 PM on July 26, 2011


@Lovecraft: I get that feeling in Dungeon Master like no other game. It's quite surreal and not 100% enjoyable.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:30 PM on July 26, 2011



Hey
These mentions that I make are simply things that I'm super passionate about and have around me on my walls. I wasn't implying that they were being referenced directly whilst Doom wasnt being designed, or that I was making some sort of grand discovery. The journey was a personal one, as everyone played the game in a different way, with a differnet pace and probably has unique memories attached to those experiences. As I mentioned before there is an element of humor in this that seems to be getting lost.

I brought up Lissitzky's Wolkenbuegel because it was one of the first proposals for a modern horizontal skyscraper. The structure in the room in question has half of its height resting on the pillars, bridging the two of them, and being propelled forward. The fact that the skin of the doom structure is made up of monitors, various meters, etc.. information providers basically, linked it also to the dissemination of information that was so integral to a lot of the Soviet projects, news kiosks, propaganda machines.. Maybe because this is something I'm always looking at, or because I was already in that era in my mind, it was an instant link, albeit maybe somewhat superficial and quick. yes... It was also more the general idea of bridging virtual worlds to a lot of architectural fantasy from early to mid 20th century. You're right it does look like a million other things.

I mentioned Nam June Paik only because that second structure uses what looks more like television screens than the diagnostics monitors from the other room. The link again might be superficial, but this was something that is etched in my head and it was there first.

I think texture mapping is analogous to modular construction, for obvious reasons. Since this is what a lot of modern architecture strove to look like, I made the link. It might be kind of pointless to bring it up, but I really like seeing those stitches. As I kept hearing more about id tech 5 and seeing Rage..., megatextures, unique environments that I kind of began to reappreciate those kinds of things.


I mean no, this could be anything, maybe it's a low res Reinhardt/Rothko, hell maybe it's a cropped Mondrian and you have to find the rest of the painting in the rest of the level? Is there any reason why Malevich is more relevant over any other black square, art historical or otherwise?

hah..that would be a cool game, find the rest of the Mondrian. Many people did squares, but Malevich was the first. Malevich's square was the abyss, the spiritual void. You have to jump into that abyss in the game. That is why I thought of it.
posted by vtimofeev at 1:02 AM on July 27, 2011


I think there was something about Doom, hard to pin down, and quite
separate from the exciting new 3D technology, that gave it an exceptionally evocative feel, never really equalled imo


Maybe you include this in "Exciting new 3D technology", but I think a big part is that we were just completely unhardened against a fundamentally new form of media. We'd had no exposure and no defence, and on top of that, the game built with this new vehicle was a masterpiece - we didn't stand a chance :)

(I played 3d precursors like wolf3D before Doom, and it seemed like a neat idea to me, and fun, but didn't really grab me. But Doom had a critical mass of sensory richness that just made it suck-you-in real. They were like idly kicking a ball around a parking lot, and then you get hit by a bus - called Doom.)

I told a friend "Doom makes wolf3D look like a cartoon!", and he flat out didn't believe me. On seeing it, he brought up my remark and said I was right. It was inconceivable at the time that something better could make doom look like a cartoon, but I knew rationally that it must be so. And amazingly the quake-era of games did just that. But by the same logic, something must eventually make even those games look like cartoons in comparison. It was impossible to consider! But of course, it happened...
Funnily enough, these days, even that games that are trying to look like cartoons, with cell-shaded rendering and simplified stylized geometry, even they make the old "photo-realistic" games looks like cartoons in comparison.

By the time I'm 90, this shit gonna be insane. :)


vtimofeev: For what it's worth, I did enjoy the humor, and it was interesting to see these things with fresh eyes. After all these years, I still have enough of the details burned into my soul that it was jarring to see things technically misinterpreted :)
posted by anonymisc at 1:38 AM on July 27, 2011


Doom had a critical mass of sensory richness that just made it suck-you-in real. They were like idly kicking a ball around a parking lot, and then you get hit by a bus - called Doom

so well put. have you read the Masters of Doom book? its an incredibly detailed account of the history of id, emphasis on the trajectories of romero and carmack. would highly recommend it to anyone who has an attachment to this era.

By the time I'm 90, this shit gonna be insane. :)


do you think optimization will ever bore us? once it surpasses capacity to mimic things? maybe that wil help us get 'back to nature':)

Also can I please wander around freely in some of the Carceri? Second (darker) state, if I have a choice; and (all things considered) not without my BFG.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS
I would also kick a football around Piera della Francesca's Ideal City.

you can't imagine walking into a de Kooning, maybe, but you can certainly imagine flying a spaceship into one
you just blew my mind man. .. i think its also funny that after all this, rethinking how/where drawing and painting can exist. you know? like reappreciating the simplicity of such a medium. its my suspicion that its relevance/ will only grow as media/tech gets fasters and more advanced. but lets see.
posted by vtimofeev at 2:34 AM on July 27, 2011


From the article: The Doom engine was still technically 2.5D, since it used two-dimensional sprites to animate the world.

Really? I always thought "2.5D" was a reference to the fact that Doom resembled a three dimensional world but was in most respects played in two dimensions because of the limited role of elevation (e.g. you couldn't have an area of floor above or below another area of floor, so no vertically overlapping passageways). Even Descent, which was as 3D as anyone could possibly want and more, used 2D sprites for a lot of the objects and effects.

Anyway, that BFG FAQ from 1995 that griphus linked to was fascinating:
Simply put, the blast area is like an imaginary 'cone' or 'fan' of 20 damage traces that briefly extends outward from the attacking player. The cone always points in the direction that the weapon was fired. For instance, if you originally fired the weapon in the northwest direction, the cone will always face northwest, regardless of which direction you're facing at the moment of detonation.
What? I always assumed it was a circular blast extending outwards from the impact point, as is strongly suggested by the graphic effect. No wonder I never managed to work out how to use it properly.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:34 AM on July 27, 2011


Really? I always thought "2.5D" was a reference to the fact that Doom resembled a three dimensional world but was in most respects played in two dimensions because of the limited role of elevation

you're right, the general definition of 2.5d that i ran with was that it was pseudo3d, or just well crafted illusion, and this definitely encompasses many things beyond sprites. there is just something about sprites that is so immediate, especially when observed via freelook from above or below.

What? I always assumed it was a circular blast extending outwards from the impact point, as is strongly suggested by the graphic effect.


i thought the same, weird.
posted by vtimofeev at 4:57 AM on July 27, 2011


Heh. 2.5D

2.5D is just kind of a invented distinction anyway, people wanted a this-is-how-cool-it-is number rating system, or a "yeah-but-it's-not-REALLY-real" caveat, and then some later games were said to be 2.75D and other silliness, and at the end of the day, dimensions are whole numbers, and there were 3 of them in Doom structures and gameplay (and 2 in Wolf3d structures and gameplay, but 3 in the depiction of those structures).

For some people, 2.5D means sprites in a 3d environment. For others it means 3D rooms, but not the option of multiple layers of 3D rooms. For others it means no mouselook (no controls to look up/down). For others it means any 2D optimizations whatsoever in a 3D game. Is Quake a 2.5D game because the flames were sprites? Were the flames really sprites, or texture-maps on a flat polygon? Does that distinction even make sense? The arguments raged. And they were never settled because the term has no real meaning beyond being a way of saying "this engine has restrictions".

But all engines have technical restrictions, and always will.

I wouldn't even say the engine restrictions in Doom were noticeable. They're very obvious once pointed out, but everyone needed them to be pointed out first before they noticed them.

In Doom, you can step off a ledge, just as someone is firing a rocket up at you from the ground below. The rocket flies up toward the place you were, flies over your head hits the guy behind you who is still on the ledge, and explodes. That's 3D combat in a 3D environment. But the guy on the ledge above you can't hop onto your head because solid objects block each other in 2D (or are infinitely tall, if your frame of reference is the 3d geometry)

Room geometry is 3D. Player location is 3D. Projectile location is 3D. Blocking volume physics is 2D. Collision detection is 3D. BSP (line-of-sight lookup table) is 2D. Sprites are 2D.

But it's a 3D game with 3D gameplay. Three dimensions are present and involved in deciding the action and the outcomes. Rather than a technical spec, I guess I think of "2.5D" as a cultural product of the times, like "bodacious" a few years before, and "groovy" before that :-)
posted by anonymisc at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2011



Were the flames really sprites, or texture-maps on a flat polygon? Does that distinction even make sense?

i always thought that it was texture-mapped 3dimensional polyhedron?

also ive been trying to continue the discussion about optimization on the original blog thread.
posted by vtimofeev at 5:10 AM on July 28, 2011


Room geometry is 3D.

Doom notably lacked the ability to have one room on top of another. So, actually, the room geometry isn't all-the-way 3D. It could seem that way at times, what with all the missiles flying overhead, but then occasionally you got a situation where you were standing on a ledge and received damage from a melee attack from fifty meters below, because there was an imp right on the other side of the ledge.

Perhaps a better example would be in the contemporaneous Marathon games. These games appeared to have rooms on top of other rooms; but it turned out that, if you made one room overlap another, you could set their heights to make them one on top of the other, or you could set their heights exactly the same and have them occupy the same space, and the game didn't care about the difference. Some multiplayer levels exploited this to let players walk around a pillar in the middle of a room to find themselves in a completely different room.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:47 AM on July 28, 2011


Doom was not full 3d. In terms of gameplay, Doom was essentially robotron with some hacks to make it seem 3d, but it wasn't a full 3d game. The, Z axis barely mattered, except for rockets. Descent, I believe, was the first real 3d game.
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on July 28, 2011


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